Five years ago today I never would have thought that at 20 years old I would be working on my doctorate. The feeling is surreal and the program is no joke. The first week of graduate school was invigorating, yet absolutely exhausting. I can already tell that I have a long road ahead of me, but it is nothing more than I knew it was going to be.
I did not choose to expedite my academic journey because I thought it was going to be easy. I chose to take this path in life because I knew it would humble me and allow for me to grow. I have met so many new people over the course of the past week and I am looking forward to my time here at Palmer College of Chiropractic. Despite the worldwide status of frustration and disdain, I am grateful to be where I am. It may not be ideal, but it could be worse. All lectures are online, but all exams and labs/hands-on work is in person. I have to say I do not mind the online lectures, it gives me time to eat and breathe as I please. I am glad that exams are in person because I will hold myself accountable and dedicate myself to studying and doing the work. Does that first breath of fresh air after taking my mask off for the day feel welcoming? Yes. I think we should all be glad that we have the chance to breathe fresh air after we take our mask off because some are not as fortunate. This is not a matter of weighing each other’s struggles, but at times like these I think it is important to remind yourself what you do have instead of what you do not have or want.
The biggest adjustment is the time schedule. Since last trimester was completely online and I did not have as large of a schedule, actually waking up early and being enrolled in eight courses, having six classes a day Monday-Thursday, a lab Wednesday plus a class and a lab Friday is….different. But not bad different. I know once I get into a routine that I will feel better. As week 2 begins I already feel better. I love a routine and I love rising early and attacking the day head on. Just to have the privilege of being here and doing what I am doing motivates me. Everything in my life may not be perfect and I am definitely struggling internally for various reasons, but I am here and I would not rather be anywhere else in the world right now. I know that things are going to get HARD and stressful, but that is what I came here for and I expect nothing less. If I do not cry by the first set of exams, then hell, I am not doing things right! I may be young, but I am passionate and I am strong and I am ready for all that lies ahead of me.
It is in my heart, my soul, and it is in my blood. I have no doubts for myself and those that I surround myself with. I have made a good friend from last trimester and I am starting to make more good friends…and without friends for moral and academic support, I know that I could not get through this program. The world is in a tough spot right now, but in many ways I am doing my part to help. I know that the men and women of color that follow me will have me in front of them hopefully making their journey a little better. I aim to set a standard that thwarts the stereotypes for those that have to put in a little extra work to reach their goals. I am working towards reaching a place where I can give healthcare to all and help those in need. I am doing my part one loan at a time and although the results may not be immediate, I know that they will come. I am going to be great and I am going to bring greatness to all those in my path.